Armando's Spinal Cord Stimulation StoryAs Armando crossed the street one day, a car hit him with such force that he was thrown into the air. He landed on his back. “My leg was broken in nine places,” Armando recalls. After the accident, the pain Armando felt in his back and legs made walking and sitting uncomfortable. Unable to move without difficulty, he spent most of his days watching television.
This story recounts the experience of a patient who is receiving Medtronic neurostimulation therapy (also known as spinal cord stimulation) for the treatment of chronic pain. Medtronic invited him/her to share his/her story candidly. Please bear in mind that the experiences are specific to this particular person.
Armando's Spinal Cord Stimulation Story
As Armando crossed the street one day, a car hit him with such force that he was thrown into the air. He landed on his back. “My leg was broken in nine places,” Armando recalls. After the accident, the pain Armando felt in his back and legs made walking and sitting uncomfortable. Unable to move without difficulty, he spent most of his days watching television.
Pain medication provided some relief, but made Armando feel drowsy. During physical therapy he felt some relief from his pain, only to have it return hours after the session. Injections eased the pain for a few months, but when the pain returned he had to be hospitalized. Armando’s doctor told him about neurostimulation therapy from Medtronic. Before going forward with it, Armando underwent a screening test to determine if neurostimulation could manage his pain.
Significant changes during the screening test
During the screening test Armando experienced significant changes. He was able to leave the house without enduring excruciating pain. He spent more time with family and friends. He could put on his shoes without help. Able to ride his motorcycle again, he felt free and independent. Armando talked with friends and family before making a decision to pursue long-term neurostimulation therapy. They told him he seemed much happier with neurostimulation, so he decided to proceed with the therapy.
Armando didn't experience any complications with his surgery. However, some people do experience surgical complications such as infection, pain at the site of surgery, or bleeding into the epidural space. Once the neurostimulation system is implanted, device complications may occur and include jolting, leads breaking, or movement of the leads within the epidural space, which may require reprogramming or surgical replacement of the leads. These events may result in uncomfortable stimulation or loss of therapy.
Living a full life with neurostimulation therapy
A community activist, Armando has always collected toys for children in El Paso and Las Cruces, Texas, and now he can do more with less pain. He also advocated for motorcycle riders’ rights and began educating the public on motorcycle riding.
“My life has changed a lot,” he says. “Before, I could not sit through a two-hour movie with my family, but now we can all do things together.”